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iPad 2: Impact on enterprise, engineering and CAD

iPad 2 stands to continue its dominance and transform opportunities in enterprise, engineering and CAD. Who wins, how and why? We asked Charles Edge to help us clarify the issues.

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Enterprise is Leading

Apple is experiencing remarkable interest in the iPad in enterprise. This is hardly news to those following the industry. What they may not realize is why? And they may not realize that Apple is also experiencing exploding growth in enterprise with Mac. The link between the two is very interesting and has implications for the engineering CAD market.

To understand this we must first understand more about why the iPad is so attractive to the enterprise in particular. Besides the iPad’s amazing technology the iPad represents a sea change in how technology can exist within large business. Charles Edge explains. “Customers of our IT consultancy, 318, Inc., see the iPad as representing a different approach to IT, almost a symbol of decentralization and consumerism.”

“It is a single user device that costs less than most portable computers,” says Edge. “There is a limited set of policies that can be enforced, but it is sandboxed in such a way that users are very limited in how they can interact with the device outside of what an app is able to do. Organizations who are in the midst of re-thinking big, monolithic IT are amongst those that see the most value in the iPad.”


With the emergence of cloud-computing larger enterprises are investigating completely new approaches to IT. This is why CAD industry software giants have already begun to implement strategic product changes to address these new sea changes in the industry, such as Solidworks and Autodesk. It is because, by and large, the biggest players happen to have the majority of the largest (enterprise-scale) customers and these customers are responding to change in IT.

This may partly explain why it was Autodesk, for example, who arrived on the iPad technology stack first ahead of major Mac CAD developers. They likely had the scale of enterprise customers pushing them to get to market first with a CAD or engineering application that addressed the possibilities of both the cloud and the iPad.

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